Sláinte Care

Prime Time for Older Adults

 

Our ‘Prime Time for Older Adults’ pilot project will build on (from a clinical exercise physiology perspective) the existing skillset of fitness professionals in Laois so that they have the skills and knowledge to (i) implement and evaluate an evidence-based strength and conditioning intervention for older adults and (ii) teach older adults the skills and knowledge they need to empower them to increase their functional strength and fitness for activities of daily living and manage and improve clinical conditions they may have including arthritis, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

The overall goal of this project is to create more opportunities for older adults in Laois to be physically active under the supervision of skilled professionals that are equipped to deliver group physical activity sessions for this population, particularly in relation to the clinical conditions that often exist in this group.

Please take some time to read the recently published paper Multimodal Physical Activity Participation Rates in Middle-Aged and Older Adults – Irish Medical Journal.  This is the evidence-based foundation for our Slaintecare programme.

 

 

Below is a series of video content and downloadable training diaries to help you start this programme at home

Resistance Training

This video takes you in a simple and practical way through:

(i) the impact of ageing and physical inactivity on the size, strength and function of your muscle

(ii) the resistance training recommendations for middle aged and older adults

(iii) the benefits of resistance training and

(iv) practical ways to get started on this journey.

Did you know: Our recent paper published in the Irish Medical Journal shows that only 17.3% (n=34) and 11.4% (n=17) of middle aged and older adults (353 adults surveyed in total) in Laois, respectively, take part in resistance training?

This puts them at increased risk of sarcopenia (loss of muscle size and strength), frailty, falls and disability as they age. Small amounts of resistance training each week can counteract this.

Balance

This video takes you through some simple balance exercises you can do at home to improve your balance and focusing on the following:

1. Criteria to determine if you are low, medium or high risk of falls

2. The consequences of poor balance

3. The benefits of balance training

4. Simple exercises you can do at home to improve balance

Did you know: Poor balance, particularly when combined with poor leg strength, increases your risk of frailty and falls as you age?

This can lead to disability, loss of independence and poor quality of life. Small amounts of balance training weekly can significantly reduce this risk. If you have experienced a fall or multiple falls, you may benefit greatly from training your balance with these simple exercises at home.

Osteopenia, Osteoporosis and good bone health

This workshop takes you through the specific multimodal exercise prescription for Osteopenia, Osteoporosis and good bone health as you age. It focuses on the type and amount of aerobic, resistance, balance and flexibility training that you should do per week and why.

It also takes you through a sample training diary for 7 days that you could use to help ensure you achieve the recommendations.

Download Training Diary Here

Do you know:

  1. Flexibility (stretching) training is extremely important for the treatment and management of osteoporosis and osteopenia? It should be performed 5-7 days per week.
  2. Resistance training is extremely important for the treatment and management of osteoporosis and osteopenia. It should be performed at least 2-3 days per week.
  3. If you have osteoporosis then you are categorised as having a medium risk of falls and should do balance training at least 3 days per week.
  4. A specific combination of aerobic, resistance, balance and flexibility training is very effective in the treatment and management of osteoporosis and osteopenia. Please view our short workshop to learn more.

Broom Stretches

Did you know you can use a broom for a very simple and effective stretching routine?

Our Sláintecare participants completed this workout with us during the week using either a broom or dowel. The feedback was fantastic! 

This video goes through some of these exercises and demonstrates how you can do them at home.

Core Strenght

This is a video demonstrating the foundation of core strength work for complete beginners.

This was the very beginning of the core work for our Sláintecare participants. Why not view the video and give the exercises a try at home.

Laois Sports Partnership is delighted to have been able to commission True Fitness to design and deliver this Sláintecare funded project.

This was a 12 week multi-modal online physical activity research study (Project 21) for middle aged & older adults (50-80 yrs) in Laois.

It is one of many resources we have created for the participants who are currently taking part in our study called “Prime Time for Middle Aged and Older Adults” #rightcarerightplacerighttime

This multimodal training study has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund under grant agreement number 21

Aerobic Exercise

This video takes you in a simple and practical way through the following:

1. The type and amount of aerobic exercise that you should do for your health
2. The physical and mental health benefits of aerobic exercise

3. A special mention of “green” and “blue” exercise
4. Practical ways to increase your aerobic activity

Did you know: Dancing is a form of aerobic exercise, so it improves your blood pressure, blood sugars, cholesterol, fitness, balance, physical health and mental health? Best of all it’s fun!!

Just one bout of aerobic exercise (e.g. a 30-minute walk) has a 24-hour lowering effect on your blood pressure. So, if you have high blood pressure, or are being treated for high blood pressure, daily aerobic activity can help you to control same.

When your muscles contract during aerobic exercise (e.g. walking, dancing, cycling, swimming) this lowers your blood sugar during and after exercise. So, if you have pre diabetes or type 2 diabetes, daily gentle aerobic exercise is very powerful in helping you to regulate your blood sugar.

It’s also worth mentioning the benefits of exercising outside – “green exercise” (being active in a green space e.g. park, woods, mountains) and “blue exercise” (exercise on or near water e.g. kayaking, swimming, walking by the river/lake/sea) is proven to be very beneficial in reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.

How To Structure Your Training Week

This workshop focuses on “How To Structure Your Training Week” so that you can achieve the guidelines for aerobic, resistance, balance and flexibility exercise for optimal health and fitness. 

Do you know the best way to structure your training week?

This workshop takes you through a sample 7 day training diary which ensures that you meet the guidelines. If you haven’t completed a training diary before this sample 7 day training diary (explained in our workshop) will help you to record your training for one week and see if you are meeting the guidelines 

Download Training Diary Here

Arthritis

This workshop takes you through the specific multimodal exercise prescription for Arthritis, specifically Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. It focuses on the type and amount of aerobic, resistance, balance and flexibility training that you should do per week and why.

It also takes you through a sample training diary for 7 days that you could use to help ensure you achieve the recommendations.

Download Training Diary Here

Did you know: 1 in 2 adults over 65 years have arthritis? It’s a leading cause of pain and disability. Physical activity is very important in the prevention of this condition, but also in the treatment.


Simple strength exercises can increase the strength in muscles surrounding an arthritic joint. This in turn takes the pressure off the affected joint.

Stretching exercises can greatly increase the flexibility in the muscles surrounding an arthritic joint, which reduces stiffness and pain and allows increased range of motion.

If you have arthritis, there is a very specific type and amount of exercise that greatly improves this condition. Please view our short workshop to learn more about our “training triangle” for arthritis. 

Heart Health

This workshop is all about cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular health. This video explains the important role of exercise training in cardiovascular health. 

Did you know: Exercise training can increase your “good” HDL cholesterol which protects your cardiovascular system?

A single bout of exercise has a 24-hour lowering effect on your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure daily exercise is very important in helping you to control it.

On the other hand, Hypotension (low blood pressure) after exercise is a risk especially if you are taking certain medications for cardiovascular disease. A simple cool down can reduce this risk, so please don’t skip your cool down!

Low blood pressure can also be a risk during exercise if you are taking certain medications for cardiovascular disease. Simple things like keeping your feet moving between exercises can reduce this risk.

It’s important to note that low blood pressure can be a risk during exercise too if you are taking certain medications for cardiovascular disease. Simple things like taking your time transitioning between standing exercise and seated or lying exercises and vice versa can reduce this risk.

All video content was created and presented by Diane Cooper, Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Director of True Fitness, and John Bolton, Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Director of True Fitness.

Participant Testimonials

I joined True Fitness for the 12 week Sláintecare funded programme for 50-80 year olds in September.

I’m a relatively fit active 60 year old who walks regularly so I wasn’t sure how much I would get from this course. I am absolutely delighted I joined up as I am benefitting in so many ways from it.

1) the online classes really suit me as I don’t live close to any of the centres and I can work them into my daily routine really easily

2) I am loving that all aspects of fitness are covered. Every session has warm-up/cool-down, stretching/flexibility, aerobic strength and balance work included.

3) I am really enjoying the workshops Diane does at the end of some of the sessions and the importance placed on the fact that this is a life long journey and not just for 12 weeks. I feel really well supported by the true fitness team if I need clarity on any aspect.

4) All classes are graded into three fitness levels which means these classes are accessible to a wide variety of people of all fitness levels.

5) My personal fitness has improved greatly and I can see changes to my body shape which is an added bonus! I feel fitter and stronger both physically and mentally thanks to being part of this programme.

I have encouraged my husband to sign up to a true fitness class starting next week and have told many of my friends of its many advantages. It’s a big thumbs up from me for the True Fitness programme.

Breda Broderick

My husband Michael and I are presently attending a physical training course with True Fitness. We find our trainers Diane, John, Ruth and Ann to be highly professional, knowledgeable, supportive and always so encouraging.

In these COVID times, we attend a zoom class twice weekly and always feel so good for having done it. Their enthusiasm is so motivating on all things fitness, from actual physical training to workshops on flexibility and balance training and diet.

We have enjoyed learning so much and we really feel the benefits of attending this course. For us, both doing this course together makes it so much easier and more fun.

We would both like to thank you all at True Fitness for all we have achieved by attending your course.

Kathleen and Michael Hargroves

Maureen Culleton